"When I dive, I enter a sort of meditative state. I love the weightlessness of it – the silence, the peace, the opportunity for discovery."
When and why did did you start diving?
I started diving because I had been obsessed with the ocean since I was a kid living on Baffin Island. Jacques Cousteau's books were all we had growing up, and I would sit, dreaming of an underwater world, for hours on end. When I left the north to attend British Columbia's University of Victoria, I discovered a curriculum that included diving lessons. I hadn't anticipated such an opportunity would be available to me, and I became obsessed. They nearly kicked me out because my room smelled like a seaweed farm – it was a tiny studio, not even a one-bedroom, and always filled with my wet dive equipment.
What is your spirit fish or mammal?
My spirit animal is whichever animal will loan me its voice to protect ecosystems under threat, and that varies depending on where we're working in the world. In Tonga, it's the humpback whale. It's the polar bear in the Arctic and the leopard seal in Antarctica. In Norway, it's the orca. It's always evolving.
What do you enjoy most about diving?
When I dive, I enter a sort of meditative state. I love the weightlessness of it – the silence, the peace, the opportunity for discovery. I enjoy being lost in the moment. I think diving is probably quite similar to going to the moon, except a million times better. Imagine being surrounded by exotic animals such as sharks, whales, dolphins, coral, and sea lions, many of whom want to play with you. It's another world. Being underwater is like traveling down a road and arriving at a point that is as far as you said you'd go, but being drawn to the next corner just to see what's around it. In diving, that corner is your visibility barrier – sometimes it's ten feet like in BC, or it might be one hundred and fifty like here in the Bahamas. Whatever it is, you can't help but continue to the next coral head, the next iceberg, the next rock, or the next patch of seaweed. There is an endless supply of amazing and exotic things to uncover. It's truly a gift to breathe underwater.